This month, we talk to Figtree tutor Aoife about what makes her tick and the secrets of a successful tutor-student relationship.
You started your career in law – so what led you into the tutoring world?
I’ve always enjoyed working with children – throughout school and university I had part-time jobs running athletics clubs and hosting birthday parties. I’ve tutored children privately for a number of years, and while working as a lawyer I volunteered on various educational projects for several well-established charitable organisations. So it seemed like a natural step to further pursue work that I really enjoy.
What is it that you enjoy most about your job?
The interactions I have – whether that’s with the children, their families or fellow members of the Figtree team. I love to see my students progress with their studies in a way that they enjoy – particularly when they’ve initially lacked confidence. I’m always learning too, and it’s fascinating to discover new subjects and gain new insight from students of all ages and walks of life.
…and working at Figtree?
There’s a great energy at Figtree – a sense of community almost, where we’re all happy to share ideas and resources. The needs of our students are very much at the forefront of the company, and I’m really well supported in trying to serve them in the best way that I can.
What do you think makes a successful tutor-student relationship?
I think it’s really important to build a strong rapport, so that both student and tutor look forward to the sessions, and are working together to achieve a clear goal. I also always try to get to know my students – that way I can adapt to their preferred learning styles and bring subjects to life with content that they’re genuinely interested in.
What’s the biggest challenge for a tutor?
A big part of our role is to reassure and encourage the children. So that despite what they might hear in the playground, they know that they’re doing well and that higher marks will come with time and practice.
Finally – if you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Loyal, conscientious, curious.